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Open File Report 29

Gold and associated elements in the regolith - dispersion processes and implications for exploration. P241 Final Report

Butt, C.R.M., Gray, D.J., Lintern, M.J., Robertson, I.D.M., Taylor, G.F. and Scott, K.M.

This report summarizes, integrates and discusses the results of over three years of research. The research had the objectives of (a) obtaining a better understanding of the nature and genesis of the regolith and the lateritic and saprolitic gold deposits contained within it, and (b) determining characteristics useful in exploration for further such deposits and for primary mineralization. These rather broad, strategic objectives have been met by some specific lines of research carried out at 16 different sites, mostly in the Yilgarn Block, and have been reported in about 40 Investigation Reports. Some of the highlights of the research include:

  1. Data on multi-element dispersion in the regolith at nine mine sites, demonstrating the geochemical expression of gold mineralization.
  2. Detailed mineralogical, petrographic and geochemical studies of a range of different lithologies as an aid to bedrock identification from weathered material.
  3. Petrographic studies of rock weathering and (in collaboration with AMIRA Project 240), demonstration of the origins of the components of ferruginous lag.
  4. A comparison of the morphologies and compositions of gold grains in semi-arid and humid tropical regions, and the implications for gold mobility and the genesis of supergene gold deposits.
  5. Demonstration of the significance of soil carbonate horizons as sample media in gold exploration.
  6. Demonstration of the existence and characteristics of groundwaters mobilizing gold under present conditions.
  7. Further investigations of the chemistry of gold in the weathering environment and demonstration of the high solubility of gold in some soils.
  8. Mineralogical and geochemical characteristics of a continuous section through primary gold mineralization (Mt Percy).
  9. Data on the biogeochemical expression of gold mineralization.

Last updated: Tuesday, January 04, 2000 03:51 PM


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